Samsung Galaxy S4 mini preview: First look
If there was anything certain after the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4, it was the imminent arrival of a mini version. The question wasn't whether or when - the Galaxy S4 mini is drafting even closer behind the flagship than its predecessor did last season. It was how much - as in how much smaller and how much cheaper.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini is yet to get a price tag but the lower-res screen and less powerful chipset will certainly result in a meaningful discount. The Galaxy S4 mini will skip the top-of the-line Exynos 5 Octa and Snapdragon 600, settling for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset with 1.7GHz dual Krait cores.
Here go the rest of the key specs:
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini at a glance
- General: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; UMTS 850/900/1900/2100 MHz, HSDPA 21 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL (I9195 model only)
- Form factor: Touchscreen bar phone
- Dimensions: 124.6 x 61.3 x 8.9 mm, 107 g
- Display: 4.25" 16M-color qHD (540 x 960 pixels) Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
- CPU: Dual-core Krait 1.7 GHz processor
- GPU: Adreno 305
- RAM: 1.5 GB
- OS: Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Memory: 8 GB (5 GB user available) of inbuilt storage, microSD card slot
- Still Camera: 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with face detection, touch focus and image stabilization; LED flash, front facing camera, video-calls
- Video Camera: Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps
- Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, standard microUSB port, GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS, 3.5mm audio jack, FM radio
- Misc: TouchWiz 5.0 Nature UX, DivX/XviD codec support, built-in accelerometer, multi-touch input, proximity sensor, gyroscope sensor, smart screen, Air view and gestures
Samsung did well to keep the Super AMOLED screen and the resolution cut isn't too painful. qHD looks reasonably well on a 4.3" diagonal. The comfortably compact Galaxy S4 mini is the flagship in miniature, replicating the original design to the last detail, from the layout of controls, through the finish, to the location of the IR port. It is the same Android version ticking inside too, topped with TouchWiz 5.0 Nature UX. Even most of the air gestures of the big Galaxy S4 are available on the S4 mini too.
So, although the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini has been designed with budget in mind, it's mostly the hardware that was affected. The mini version of the Galaxy S4 is a feature-rich package, and users should have little to worry about if it behaves as promised. We'll get to what kind of performance you can expect but let's first get the design and build out of the way.